Knowledge on how to raise kids these days is something every parent needs to come equipped with. You can either take advice from those who have kids, or from your own parents. The problem is, the same ways won't apply to all kids, being either too extreme, too liberal or age-old methods. You have to understand that kids these days are more free-spirited and independent, attaining personalities at a very young age.
Exposure to outside elements like the media or friends who've 'seen it all' and are now introducing you to something new, is what fascinates and draws kids in these days. It is up to parents to bring them up in the best way possible, with advice and methods that will work into their lives as they grow older. You'll find advice here on good parenting, with ways on dealing with difficult situations with a sort out head on your shoulders.
Tips to Become a Good Parent
If there's one thing you'll notice, is that yelling and banning kids from doing certain things, will only make them more curious and rebellious. If your kids are doing things that they are aware you did in the past or even in the present, they'll boldly point it out and have their way in the argument. So before you pounce on them about something they've done, ask yourself if you were the one to blame in the first place. Parents are huge influential characters in a child's life, where bad company and media follow in close pursuit.
Tell Yourself that Screaming Solves Nothing
My mother could do no wrong, is a fact written in stone when I look back on my childhood, but she did give me a good screaming now and then. I won't say that I didn't deserve it, but when she did let her vocal cords get the best of her, I only felt more resentful and angry. Later on as we kids grew out of that 'raging hormones' phase, we weren't yelled at anymore because mom's secret to handle us was gentle talk. While dad took the road never trodden on by mom; passing statements that pinched in the right spots was his way of handling us. She would instead calmly sit us down and tell us how wrong that certain act was, how to not be the kind of person that most parents feared their kids would turn out as and to be careful with whom we mixed with. So the next time you feel the need to scream your lungs out, think again of how you are just pushing your child away, making them want to do as they please.
Supervising Internet Time
My mom always made it a habit to sit at a distance behind us at the dining table as she kept a watchful eye on the PC screen, or only allowed us to use the Internet when she was home. It was her way of keeping an eye out for things we weren't supposed to indulge in at such a young age. She was right in doing so but it did get on our nerves, where my elder sister would secretly buy those limited time Internet cards. We found our way around the problem and used the Internet secretly when she or dad wasn't around. You cannot ban something completely because the Internet although a very powerful manipulation tool, is also at the end of the day a way to open your mind to new facets of information and socializing portals. True that kids meet friends in school everyday, but sometimes we like to stay in touch while not with them as well. What you need to do is allow your kids to use the Internet but to keep a track of how long they sit, what they're doing and which websites they're logging on to. As they age, you can loosen up your rein on supervision time.
Approaching the Idea of Sex and Dating
No child or young teen is forewarned about what dating and sex is like, and the only focus at that age is on their emotions. It is natural to feel attraction and add a crush or two to their list but acting out on it is the scary part. Some kids don't date or associate with other kids their own age, with girls often exploring the thrill of dating a much older guy. It is your responsibility as a parent to approach these issues when they turn into teenagers or you'd be dealing with a child who secretly meets and keeps in touch with guys/girls. Be open about intercourse and explain to them what can happen if you open yourself up to unprotected sex. Explain how you have to be older to indulge in matters of the flesh, and encourage them to concentrate more on their education and socializing with the right crowd. Letting them know that there is an appropriate time for sex and how choosing the right person the first time around can be tricky, is where you'll get them to pay attention.
The best way is to tell them about your first time, your past experiences with dating, heartbreak, betrayal and whatever else will help make them understand how complicated it can turn if you don't approach these with the right frame of mind and understanding. Be honest and open with your child, so that they confide in you and open up about things they're unsure of. That way you don't have to lay up late at night wondering if your child is sneaking their dates in and out of the house, or escaping into the night for a party post midnight. As long as you are aware of what your child is up to, the rest shouldn't matter because your child will know what to expect and how to manage a situation because you were there to guide him/her from day one.
Physical Abuse is a Huge No-No
Don't get into the habit of physically pounding your kid to mush because it can seriously damage him/her psychologically and emotionally in the long haul. In a firm manner speak to them about their mistakes grounding them from doing things they like, but by no means allow yourself to raise a hand on them. The last thing you need is to deal with a beater or verbally abusive child in the future, or one that is violently aggressive to those they come across. It will affect a lot of areas in their lives if they were brought up in such stressfully abusive situations. If you see him/her doing something wrong, gently but firmly say 'no' to that action and tell them that there is punishment involved in repeating it. Punishment doesn't have to equal being bashed up or public embarrassment.
Do Not Compare Your Child to Another's
The biggest mistake parents make is comparing their child to another's. Be it grades, weight issues, behavior, dressing sense or whatever else you find comparable, parents do not miss a chance to point out how another's child is far better. That kind of thing can cripple their self-esteem, and all that banal talk will just fuel them to be the way they are out of spite. Instead encourage them to work towards better grades, get them the help they need to improve on a weak area in school and suggest ways on how to better themselves, instead of coming off as rude and contemptuous to their feelings.
To become a good parent you have to be able to approach the idea of parenting with an open mind, where advice from books is the best way to seek guidance. Don't depend on another's way of handling your kids, because they will have their own methods and parenting styles. Do a lot of reading on the subject and be prepared when handling kids, because like I said, you'd be dealing more with an adult than a child.